New York Window Tinting Laws
New York window tint laws are very specific. Every state in the United States has its own percentage of darkness and reflection that your car windows are allowed to have, as well as other specific regulations you may need to know about.
Let’s take a look at all relevant information pertaining to tinted windows in New York.
Window tint darkness
The amount of light that can pass through your car windows is measured in percentages (called VLT). Your window tint film must adhere to these standards.
In New York there are different regulations for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles. Because of this, you must read these laws carefully and check which apply to your vehicle.
- Windshield must pass through more than 70% of light. Any darkness can be used only on top 6 inches.
- Front side windows must pass through more than 70% of light inside your car.
- Back side windows on sedans must allow over 70% of light through.
- Back side windows on multi-purpose vehicles (MPV includes vans and SUVs) can have any darkness.
- Rear window can have any darkness.
Quick info: VLT stands for Visible Light Transmittance. 70% VLT means 70% of total light must pass through windows, or no more than 30% of total light may be blocked.
Window tint reflection
Some tinting film can reflect incoming light, which further reduces sun glare and heat. New York does not allow using tinting film that has any mirrored or metallic appearance.
You must have dual side mirrors on your vehicle if your rear window is tinted. In case you do not have dual exterior rear view mirrors, you are not legally allowed to tint your back windshield with lower than 70% VLT.
Restricted tint colors
In state of New York there are no color restrictions for window film. However, we strongly suggest avoiding any shades of red or blue, especially in front of the vehicle.
Displaying blue or red could potentially be interpreted by police as impersonating an emergency vehicle, which is a crime with severe penalties.
Some US states allow different window tint percentages due to certain medical conditions. In case of medical conditions such as porphyria, xeroderma pigmentosa, or severe drug photosensitivity, you can submit an application to use darker window film.
Our law references below include a link to the window tint medical exemption form.
Window film certificate
Drivers are required to have a certificate signed by the tint installing company or from the film manufacturer stating the VLT percentage clearly, and it must display tint film manufacturer’s name and address. Manufacturers are also required to certify the film in this state before they are allowed to sell it.
Vehicle type: Passenger or MPV
New York has different window tint regulations for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles (MPV). These vehicle types are based on federal classification. Inspect a Federal ID label located on front door panel/frame next to driver to find out which vehicle type you have.
Passenger vehicles include: station wagon, sedan, hardtop, coupe, hatchback, and convertible. MPV includes SUV vehicles, vans and similar.
New York law requires window tint inspection during yearly motor vehicle inspections. We strongly suggest not using illegal window tint darkness as you risk your vehicle failing the inspection.
Some towns or counties in New York state may have their own special regulations about window tinting, so if you’re in doubt about anything be sure to check with your local law enforcement or DMV offices.